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Only a day's drive south of the U.S.-Mexico border, a tropical deciduous forest opens up a world of exotic trees and birds that most people associate with tropical forests of more southerly latitudes. Like many such forests around the world, this diverse ecosystem is highly threatened, especially by large-scale agricultural interests that are razing it in order to plant grass for cattle.
The Tropical Deciduous Forest of Alamos introduces the tropical deciduous forest of the Alamos region of Sonora, describing its biodiversity and the current threats to its existence. The book's contributors present the most up-to-date scientific knowledge of this threatened ecosystem. They review the natural history and ecology of its flora and fauna and explore how native peoples use the forest's many resources.
Included in the book's coverage is a comprehensive plant list for the Río Cuchujaqui area that well illustrates the diversity of the forest. Other contributions examine tree species used by Mayo Indians and the numerous varieties of domesticated plants that have been developed over the centuries by the Mayos and other indigenous peoples. Also examined are the diversity and distribution of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds in the region.
The Tropical Deciduous Forest of Alamos provides critical information about a globally important biome. It complements other studies of similar forests and allows a better understanding of a diverse but vanishing ecosystem.
Robert H. Robichaux is associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. David Yetman is a research social scientist at the University of Arizona and host of the television show The Desert Speaks.
"This slender book contains an enormous amount of information about this little known ecosystem [...] For those who have no familiarity with Sonora'a flora this is an excellent introduction. For those who have serious interests in the area it is an absolute necessity."
– Plant Science Bulletin